The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is continuing its series of meetings aimed at improving teacher quality in Kentucky. A team of experts will focus Wednesday in Frankfort on teacher preparation programs.
The group is scheduled to hear from Deborah Ball, dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan. It will also hear presentations from the University of Louisville and Asbury University.
The panel is preparing to make recommendations for the 2014 legislative session on new ways to measure teacher effectiveness as part of Kentucky's massive public school reform effort.
Education Week magazine has ranked Kentucky in the top ten in its annual assessment of school policy and standards.
The commonwealth got two perfect scores in subcategories of the six indicators measured. One was for school accountability and another for Economy and Workforce. Overall, the commonwealth received a grade of B-minus.
Tennessee and Indiana both received grades of C+.
And while the state has tried to avoid cutting education, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says federal education cuts could be coming.
"We think we've solved the fiscal cliff two weeks ago. We did not," says Holiday. "It is still a reality and we encourage our congressional delegation to solve this fiscal cliff issue called 'sequestration' for domestic cuts.”
More than 260 Kentucky teachers were awarded national certification in 2012, ranking the state seventh nationally for the number of teachers earning that achievement.
National Board Certification is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as is considered a top achievement in the profession.
The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board says in a news release that the top ten states with the highest number of teachers certified in 2012 were North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New York.
A team of experts examining ways to improve teacher quality in Kentucky is using its second meeting to discuss recruitment and preparation. The Prichard Committee Team on Teacher Effectiveness meets Tuesday in Frankfort.
Twenty-nine Kentucky school districts plan to apply for a new round of Race to the Top grants. The U.S. Department of Education will dole out $400 million to districts this December. The DOE wants recipients to use the money to personalize student learning.
Kentucky lawmakers are trying to figure out how the state can improve digital learning across all classrooms in the commonwealth. The General Assembly has formed a task force to review possible legislative changes that encourage using technology in schools.
A Chess Grandmaster from Russia will deliver a lecture on "The Correlations between the Thinking Processes of Chess and Science" as part of this year's WKU Open Chess Tournament. Valdimir Malakhov will speak Friday April 20th, at 6pm in Gary Ransdell Hall.
An effort by Governor Steve Beshear to expand preschool services in the commonwealth did not make it into the final state budget.
Beshear put a $15 million appropriation for preschool in his budget proposal. The House cut that figure in half and funded other education programs with what was left. The Senate struck all the money, saying it wouldn't be right to expand some programs while slashing others.
And after days of budget talks, the Senate won the argument.
Citizens in ten communities across Kentucky will be participating Tuesday evening in discussion groups and viewing a ninety minute movie titled, "American Teacher." The activity is sponsored by a number of advocacy groups, including the Kentucky Association for School Superintendents, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky School Boards Association, and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Organizers say they hope to spur discussion about the importance of placing and retaining excellent teachers in the classroom.